I was born without my two lateral incisors. I wanted to get dental implants in the next few years but currently I have two false teeth that are attached to a retainer to fill the gaps. My teeth are discolored and I have been wanting to get them whitened. Does teeth whitening work on false teeth?
– John in Kentucky
Unfortunately, false teeth cannot be whitened. Actually, any kind of prosthetic or restoration will not whiten, including porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns, or dental bonding. This is because the teeth whitening agents are only effective on living surfaces. The oxygen is released to penetrate deep into the tooth. This also means that if a tooth has had a root canal, the only way it can be whitened is with internal whitening because nerves inside the tooth are no longer living. Zoom whitening will not work either.
You can use teeth whitening on your teeth prior to getting the permanent dental implants. At that time you can choose the shade you want and then have the implant dentist match the shade of your whitened teeth. If you can’t wait to whiten your teeth and want to do it now, you can always get a new retainer made and have the false teeth made to match.
Thanks for your question!